by Robert J. Schwalb
"I can tell by looking at you sorry bastards that some of you came all this way for nothing. You’ve got stars in your eyes, your heads in the clouds, and nothing but empty dreams to show me. You think because you pick up a sword you can take on an orc? Judging by the way you hold those practice swords, you’re not fit to fight kobolds. Why, one hit from a spear and you’d be on your back crying for your mamma!
“Look. I’m going to tell you plain. This is war. This is life or death. Goblins don’t give second chances. They want you dead, they want you begging for mercy as they tickle you with their axes. You pay attention, or you’re dead. It’s as simple as that. Oh, I’m not the one that’s gonna send you packing to that feathery bint, no sir. I don’t have to when there are bandits, trolls, and worse out there all itching for a chance to pull you apart.
“Before we get back to work, I’ve got something else to tell you. You might be here to learn a bit of swordplay and maybe take up life as an ‘adventurer’ or some such twaddle. We’re not here to help you rob the dead and go get yourself killed. We’re here to make warriors out of you. You follow the lessons, practice a bit, and keep your nose clean, you might—you just might—make it to be a militiaman over in Foote. Now, back at it. Jones, get that damn shield up. Luca, you’re swinging that axe like it’s gonna bite ya. Put your back into it. . . .”
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